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Eyes of the Calculor (Greatwinter Trilogy) Hardcover – September 26, 2001

15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Deadly monks, harassed bird people, daring pilots and a vicious amnesiac are but some of the disparate personalities enlivening the intricate future world upended in Australian author McMullen's latest SF epic. Hailing from different lands, they all wind up in Libris, Australica, the domain of the Dragon Librarians and their computer, the Calculor, after simultaneous, unrelated phenomena make their world go haywire. All electrical machines short-circuit, and the barrier that kept all pure humans out of vast tracts of land disappears. An Airlord from across the sea must obtain from Australica the means to keep her homeland ahead of its enemies in the race for land. This race forces the birdlike aviads to flee what had previously been their havens. An assassin monk becomes a spy for Libris, partnered with a woman who has been mysteriously transformed into a deadly creature with no memory. Ambiguity in the various protagonists' character is a refreshing touch, though it does make it difficult to decide whom to root for. Since the author provides much of the background in two previous novels (Souls in the Great Machine and The Miocene Arrow), first-time readers may be at a bit of a loss. Nonetheless, this stands as a sturdy, enjoyable addition to the McMullen canon. (Sept. 26)Forecast: The publisher's odd decision not to position this title as part of a series, or at least indicate it shares the same world as other works by McMullen, could confuse readers and dampen sales.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

With the cessation of the deadly Call and the changes in the orbiting Mirrorsun, Earth undergoes a crisis of frightening changes. The Dragon Librarians of Australica desperately seek solutions to the problem of a deteriorating society by attempting to rebuild their human-powered Calculor by force if necessary. Set 2000 years in the future, McMullen's (Souls in the Great Machine, The Miocene Arrow) sf epic examines the implications of low technology and religious idealism set against a world in the throes of transformation. For most libraries.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Series: Greatwinter Trilogy (Book 3)
  • Hardcover: 587 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; 1st edition (September 26, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312877366
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312877361
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.8 x 9.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #846,135 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Sean McMullen is an award winning Australian author working in science fiction and fantasy. He has written over seventy stories and seventeen books, and has a PhD in Medieval Literature from the University of Melbourne.

In 2011 his novelette Eight Miles was runner up in the Hugo Awards, and he has won Poland's Nova Fantastyka for Voice of Steel and the Analog Reader's Award for Tower of Wings. His books, stories and articles have won another twelve awards in Australia.

His first internationally published novel was The Centurion's Empire, which featured a time machine built during the Roman Empire. This was followed by the Greatwinter trilogy, set in a post-apocalyptic Australia ruled by a caste of psychopathic librarians, and his four volume Moonworlds series, which saw McMullen use his unique blend of science and romance in a fantasy setting.

His most recent series is the Century War series for young adult readers. Set in 1901 Melbourne, Before the Storm has been reviewed as The Terminator meets the Bronte Sisters.

Sean's non-fiction work includes the non-fiction Strange Constellations, a history of Australian science fiction jointly written with Van Ikin and Russell Blackford. He also co-wrote the first histories of Australian fantasy and horror with Steven Paulsen.

Sean works full-time in scientific computing, and in what's left of his spare time, he is a third dan black belt in karate, and teaches at the Melbourne University Karate club. People have called him a renaissance man: the question is, which renaissance?

This biography was provided by the author or their representative.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Michael Scott on May 24, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I'm slightly perplexed as to why Sean McMullen's excellent Greatwinter series hasn't achieved wider acclaim. I never hear fans speaking of McMullen. As of today, there are only 3 reader reviews on Amazon for a book that was released nearly a year ago. This lack of attention is especially frustrating given that McMullen is writing some of the most entertaining novels I've encountered in quite some time.
McMullen's series is set in the far future after a cataclysmic war that resulted in the abolition of all technology. The Earth returns to an 1800s level of technology. The main action in McMullen's novels occurs in Australia (or Australica) where a half-human, half-bird hybrid (aviads) have revolted against humanity. The underlying reasons and plots of books 1 & 2 are too complex to go into here.
Book 3 picks up where Book 2 left off. The aviads are increasing their campaign against the humans. But it seems as though the Aviad-Human conflict is only a backdrop for McMullen's larger human stories. McMullen focuses on about 5 or 6 characters throughout the novel. He has a deft touch for bringing subtle character issues to the forefront of the story. The combination of good characters and entertaining story make this novel a winner. _Eyes of the Calculor_ has all the flavor of the best space operas.
I've eagerly devoured each of McMullen's novels that has found print thus far. I've even gone so far as to track down copies of his earlier Australian novels (essentially Book 1 in the series). I eagerly look forward to each of his new releases. He is without question one of my favorite authors and one that I can highly recommend to you.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Francis Frisina on January 9, 2002
Format: Hardcover
In "Souls of the Great Machine," McMullen exposed his readers to a world full of complex cities on the future Australian continent, and in "The Miocene Arrow," McMullen went a step further and took us around to the other side of the world, in a future Denver, USA society, full of chivalry and aircraft. Different sets of characters were introduced to us in each book - far too many to begin listing here - and each brings with him or her a unique contribution to the story that unfolds in "Eyes of the Calculor." Zarvora Cybeline, former Highliber of Libris is replaced by Dramoren, an astute and altruistic man of great worth must organize a new calculor, and Jemli Miderellen, the new prophet of Woomera Confederation speaks out against all fueled machines. Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, American forces, after finally recovering from a disasterous war, fomented by the Aviads of Austrailia, begin island hopping to gather horses from Austrailia. Samondel, Airlord of American Bartolica executes her sound plan, using pilots Serjon and Bronlar Feydamor as her most important and trusted crew members. Things go awry, however, and the fates of all parties involved, as well as a great number of innocent and ignorant civilians, are forever changed.
At the same time, McMullen revives his older, once departed characters, only to have them inhabit bodies of the near-dead, catatonic characters found in Austrailia. This blend of old and new, as well as foreign and domestic, makes this fantasitc tale of future Earth both captivating and engrossing on very deep levels. Don't miss this adventure-romance, pregnant with lies, love, truth, mystery, faith and knowedlge. Buy this book, and read it!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By David on January 11, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Another wonderful story in the Greatwinter Trilogy, but unfortunately, it's the last one. McMullen is one of the freshest, most original authors to come along in a long time. All three of these books were written for the intelligent Sci-Fi fan who was looking for something more then the usual space opera junk and war novels that seem to dominate the market right now. Please don't read "Eyes of the Calculor" first, as it is the last book of a series that began with "Souls in the Great Machine" and continued with "The Miocene Arrow". These novels tell an original story of a futuristic earth in which machines are forbidden, librarians rule and death is a daily occurence. However, such a simple sentence does not do justice to the fascinating and imaginative world that McMullen created, from the deserts of Australia, to the isolation of the Rocky Mountains, McMullen has created cultures and personalities that are wholly original. Best of all, the tale does not take itself too seriously, and the author writes with a wonderful sense of humor which brings his characters alive in a way that only the best science fiction books can.
If you are like me and have been longing to read an innovative work that brings you back to that time in your life when Science Fiction was new and exciting, then this is the series for you. Why this series did not get more attention is only indicative of the sorry state that Science Fiction currently finds itself. I believe part of the problem stems from McMullen's Australian origins, but the real reason is that most book stores would rather carry yet another Star Trek Novel, or a Robert Jordan prequel then look for exciting, original material. I look forward to reading other works by McMullen (also only found on Amazon, if I may plug this website) and hope that more authors like McMullen are inspired by his effort. Keep up the good work.
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